Pregnant dogs, like pregnant women, have special nutritional requirements. They not only need more calories from their food, but they also need specific vitamins and minerals. When caring for your pregnant pup, you want the best food for her and her growing puppies.
There are so many options out there for dog food for your pregnant pup that you can quickly become overwhelmed. We’ve made your job easier by creating a list of reviews of the best food for pregnant dogs. We’ve also included a buying guide to help you find the best food for your own pregnant pup.
Read on for our recommendations.
A Quick Look at the Winning Choices of 2022
The 9 Best Foods for Pregnant Dogs
1. Ollie Fresh Beef Dog Food – Best Overall
Ollie’s Fresh Beef dog food is our overall favorite option for pregnant dogs because it provides lots of protein and low carbs. This is fresh dog food, so it has 68% moisture and will keep your dog better hydrated. The first five ingredients are beef, peas, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and carrots, and you’ll also find vitamin-packed organs like kidney and liver.
We also like Ollie because it’s so convenient. Once you’ve answered a few simple questions, the company will ship you frozen food customized to your dog’s dietary needs. Then all you have to do is thaw and serve!
You do have to sign up for a subscription, and this isn’t the cheapest dog food on the market. But if you have a pregnant dog, you want to give her the best possible food, and we think you’ll love Ollie.
2. Instinct Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food – Best Value
Instinct Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food is the best dog food for pregnant dogs for the money because it contains no by-products or artificial ingredients that could be harmful to your pregnant dog. It contains grass-fed lamb instead of chicken, which is a healthy source of protein for your pregnant pup. It also has whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and omegas to naturally provide her with essential nutrients. This food is also high in protein and fat to give your pregnant dog the energy she needs to provide for her growing puppies.
In some sensitive dogs, this formula might cause digestive issues. Some dogs are unused to the taste of raw, whole ingredients and refuse to eat it.
3. Tuffy’s Pet Food Dry Food
Tuffy’s Pet Food Nutrisource Dry Food is our premium choice because it has all the nutrients your pregnant pup needs to support her, including omega 3 and 6, and DHA. The food is made of easily-digestible, high-quality chicken protein, which will give your dog energy. It has prebiotics and probiotics for good digestion and gut health. It also has Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and selenium, which is important for her skin and coat. It also has supplemental levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to support her joints, especially as she adds weight for her pregnancy.
This food is pricier though, which can add a real financial burden when you factor how much food you’ll be feeding your pregnant pup. It’s only available in a 40-lb bag, so if you wanted to try the food first in small amounts, you would still have to purchase a large size.
4. The Honest Kitchen Food for Dogs
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The Honest Kitchen RR Food for Dogs is both high-calorie and high-protein, which will give your pregnant dog the energy she needs throughout her pregnancy. It’s formulated with organic whole grains and contains free-range chicken, so you can be sure she’s eating good-quality ingredients. This food meets FDA standards for “Human Grade,” so it’s very high-quality. It contains no by-products, preservatives, or GMO ingredients that can harm your pregnant dog’s developing puppies.
This is a pricier choice due to the high-quality ingredients. In some sensitive dogs, it can cause digestive issues. Some dogs also refuse to eat this formula, so be sure to buy a small bag to see what your dog prefers.
5. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food has smaller kibbles that make it easier for your pregnant pup to eat and digest. The food contains high-quality protein from pasture-raised lambs, so your dog is getting a healthy meat source. It contains essential nutrients for your pregnant dog’s developing puppies, including DHA and fatty acids. For your pregnant pup, it has glucosamine and chondroitin to support her joints as she grows larger, probiotics for good digestion, and superfoods that are high in nutritional value.
In some dogs, this can cause digestive problems like diarrhea and gassiness, which is something you don’t want your pregnant dog to deal with. It can also cause skin problems like itchiness and hair loss. Some dogs don’t like the taste. As with any food, the best thing to do is to try a small amount at first to be sure your dog tolerates it well.
6. Nulo Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Nulo Grain Free Dry Dog Food is easily digestible for your pregnant dog with a smaller kibble size. Its special formula helps her maintain a good weight during her pregnancy with L-Carnitine and Miscanthus grass. This food is protein-rich to give her energy and contains a probiotic for good digestion. It has no artificial colors, flavorings, or preservatives which may be harmful to your pregnant dog and her pups.
This is a grain-free food, which may be problematic according to the FDA. Some dogs refuse to eat this formula. In some sensitive dogs, it can cause digestive problems.
7. Royal Canin Mother Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin Mother and Babydog Dry Dog Food is specially formulated for pregnant or nursing dogs and her puppies up to two months old. This food provides your pregnant pup with much-needed energy during her pregnancy. The kibbles are easy to digest, and they can be rehydrated to create a porridge-like consistency that both your mama dog and puppies will appreciate. It contains all the essential vitamins, minerals, and DHA both she and her puppies need for proper development.
This is a pricier food than some of the others on our list. Some puppies refuse to eat this formula. It contains by-products instead of whole meat.
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8. Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food
Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food contains easily-digestible, high-quality chicken. It has essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your pregnant dog needs to support her during her pregnancy. It contains no poultry by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives which might be harmful to the development of her puppies.
This food can cause an allergic reaction in some sensitive dogs, so be sure to test a small amount at first. It can cause digestive problems in some dogs, and others refuse to eat this formula.
9. Evanger’s Dog Food
Evanger’s Dog Food offers an alternative to dry dog food with its canned food. Whole chicken is the number one ingredient. It also has essential vitamins and minerals that your pregnant dog needs for her developing puppies.
This formula doesn’t contain DHA, which your pregnant dog’s puppies need for proper brain development. In some sensitive dogs, it can cause digestive problems since it’s very rich compared to dry dog food. Some dogs refuse to eat this formula due to taste. It’s also too dry for canned dog food. You may end up having to add water. Lastly, it’s not as high in protein as the other foods on our list, which is essential for the energy needs of your pregnant dog.
Related Read: 10 Best Dog Foods of the Year
Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Best Food for Pregnant Dogs
There are certain things to look for when shopping for the best dog food for a pregnant dog.
Because pregnant and nursing dogs need more energy for growing puppies and milk production, they need more calories than other dogs. Pregnant and nursing dogs need 4-8 times more calories. One way to satisfy this need is with increased fat. High-fat foods can give your pregnant dog the energy she needs.
Highly digestible food is important because it helps a pregnant dog’s body more efficiently absorb nutrients. Your pregnant pup will need a way to maximize her calorie intake with every bite she takes. This is especially true when her puppies begin to take up all the space in her abdomen, and she can’t eat as much.
Vitamins and Minerals
Because your pregnant dog will be providing the vitamins and minerals not only for her own body but for her puppies as well, she will need a more concentrated amount. In particular, she needs more calcium and phosphorus for proper milk production and bone growth of her puppies.
High protein dog food is important for a pregnant dog to provide healthy development for her puppies. This type of food can also help supply her with much-needed energy during her pregnancy.
DHA is an essential nutrient for growing puppies. It helps them develop good eyesight and supports their brain and nervous system development. Supplying your pregnant dog with DHA helps give her pups the nutrients they need before they’re even born.
Our overall pick for the best dog food for pregnant dogs is Ollie’s Fresh Beef Dog Food because it has high levels of quality protein that your pregnant dog needs. It also contains essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that your dog needs to support her during her pregnancy.
The best food for pregnant dogs for the money on our list is the Instinct Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food because it doesn’t have any by-products or artificial ingredients that could be harmful to your pregnant dog. It has grass-fed lamb instead of chicken, which is a healthy source of protein for your pregnant pup. It also has whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and omegas to naturally provide her with essential nutrients.
Hopefully, our reviews and buying guide have made it easier for you to find the best food for your pregnant dog to give her the essential nutrients she needs.